The Yeats Benbulben Tour
Rosses Point → Drumcliffe → Streedagh Point → Mullaghmore → Cliffony → Creevykeel Tombs → The Horseshoe Valley & Magic Hill → Glencar Lake → Glencar Waterfall → The lake from N16 to Sligo
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Details & Itinerary
Next we head for Streedagh Point a small village in the north west of Sligo where the Spanish Armada floundered in 1588. Streedagh Strand is an impressive 3 kilometre long sandy beach located on the north western shore of a sandbar linking Streedagh Point to an area known as Connor’s Island. This is an exposed beach with reef breaks which create ideal surfing conditions all year round. Did you know? Three ships belonging to the Spanish Armada were wrecked on Streedagh Beach in 1588. The armada was amassed to attack and if possible wipe out the English navy fleet. However subsequent to the decisive Battle of Gravelines, a battle which the Spanish lost, the fleet fled north rounding Scotland and Ireland in the hope of returning to Spain. The ships were attempting to shelter from a ferocious Atlantic storm, however, given the severity of the weather they came aground and were wrecked. The sailors that landed at Streedagh were massacred by English troops garrisoned in Sligo, however, some survived through a mixture of good fortune and assistance from some of the Irish chieftains of the area. Captain DeCuellar’s account of his experience of these events is an extremely significant piece of social history and his epic journey back to his homeland is commemorated to this day as part of the Celtic Fringe Festival, held in Grange in June each year.
We drive back to Cliffoney and turn left onto the N15 and after about 100 yards we come to the Creevekeel Court Tomb which is reputed to have been in existence as far back as 4,000 BC. This was a place of ceremony and worship of the Christians in olden times. A team of archaeologists from Harvard University excavated Creevekeel in 1935. Cremated human bones were found as well as pottery, flint arrowheads, hollow scrapers and polished stone axes which are preserved in the National Museum in Dublin. On leaving Creevekeel we turn left heading east to a village called Ballintrillick which guards the entrance to the secret mountain-ringed valley of the Gleniff Horseshoe.
The first thing we see is a picnic area and the remains of an old Barytes Mill. This valley is guarded by three mountains, Tievebaun Truskmore on the east-side and Benwisken to the west. The drive is a 10-kilometre loop along single lane roads with spectacular views in the dramatic and wild Dartry Mountains. Early on in the loop we encounter the secret of the Magic Hill. At the south end we may be able to see some of the mine entrances which are closed to the public. As we turn right at the bottom of the loop we are facing Benwisken. We go right again and 3 kilometres along here 1200 feet up the mountain we can see Diarmud and Graine’s cave where they spent their last night together.Just up the road ahead is an old ruin of what was The Miners Hostel. Now we are near the end of the loop we turn left at Ballintrillick and head for Cliffoney where we turn left again and head south on N15 passing through Moneypoint. We turn left again near Drumcliffe for Glencar Lake and Waterfall.
On our way back to Sligo we visit the Holy Well at Tobernault which is an age old pilgrimage site. In olden times the Druids would come and celebrate mass here when people were forbidden to congregate. There is a legend that says the well’s waters have healing power for ailments of the eye and the head. A brisk stream flows from the well making a constant soothing musical sound. Secluded and sheltered from the elements candles burn here all year round. The gravel walks have religious limestone Stations of the Cross as well as granite stones announcing the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. One feels a unique atmosphere of peaceful and healing tranquility. From here we head back to your accommodation or chosen drop off point..
Mom's 80th Birthday Celebration
My family and I were thrilled to travel to Sligo a week ago for early celebration of Mom’s 80th birthday. We were also so fortunate to meet Eugene McP – owner of SligoTours.com. Eugene made our trip a lot of fun/extra special, as we started our day’s journey visiting my Great Great Grandparents hometown & graveside .. not far from where he grew up. We then had an unexpected trip down the Wild Atlantic Way through Connemara, Clifden, and Sky Road (most beautiful vista I’ve seen in 6 trips) to Galway … Eugene’s expertise/knowledge/graciousness was excellent, and I would highly recommend him to anyone planning to travel in the Sligo area. ShaMac
Worth every cent!
If you are heading to Sligo and would like to see all of its highlights we cannot recommend Eugene and Sligo Tours more. We contacted him in advance with an itinerary which he covered but then Eugene went the extra mile (literally) and added four more stunning locations to our day trip. Eugene is a Sligo native and so naturally knows the county, its roads and beyond inside out. The tour was at our own pace and never felt rushed. Private tours are not cheap but Eugene made this day trip worth every cent. It was a lovely way to see all the highlights of Sligo in one day with an excellent guide and chauffeur in a very clean and comfortable vehicle. Thank you again, Eugene! We will be back in 2020. Ross
Book This Tour!
My husband and I enjoyed an absolutely lovely day touring around Sligo with Eugene. He picked us up in his Mercedes and took us around the county for a day full of beautiful scenery and very interesting history. He’s a super knowledgeable and kind person- the perfect tour guide! This tour is well worth its value, you don’t be disappointed. Eugene also provided us with some great recommendations for food and drink. We hope to return to Sligo one day soon to experience one of his other itineraries! Meaghan
Sligo at its best!
My husband and I just got back from the BEST private tour of Sligo and surrounding points of interest. Eugene picked us up at our hotel and spent the entire day sharing all of his personal, local knowledge and favorite spots with us. Places you do not see on the group tours in big coach buses. Eugene, a native Irishman, born in Sligo, feels like a long lost cousin. A warm and friendly man with a great sense of humor. If you want to see the Irish countryside, tiny winding roads, fields and mountainside peppered with sheep, up close views of the Wild Atlantic Way, beautiful country homes, waterfalls, quaint villages and other special, unique places, give Eugene a chance to show you a side of Ireland the travel books don’t mention much. Eugene has a very clean S class Mercedes and will customize your experience to fit your interests. Have no idea what to see? Ask Eugene to take you to his favorite spots. You won’t be disappointed! Devine Travelers
The best choice I made this trip!
I cannot recommend touring with Eugene highly enough!
My husband and I visited Sligo with my septuagenarian grandparents and were wary to drive ourselves around the region. How glad I was to find Eugene’s website! When I contacted him, Eugene responded promptly and was open to customizing a tour to meet our travel goals. (In the end we did a slightly modified version of his Yeats tour and it was totally perfect.)
We four spent about 7 hours with Eugene, who drove us around nearly the entire county — we saw cliffs, mountains, inlets, fishing villages, etc. etc. etc. And, a Sligo native, Eugene is a wealth of knowledge about the area. He shared so much interesting and amusing info with ya throughout the day, I can’t imagine having gone about the area without his expertise! Genuinely, this was the BEST choice we made on our whole 10-day vacation. I only wish we’d spend more time in Sligo, and more time with Eugene! Erin R
Fabtastic One day tour in Sligo and Slieve League Cliffs
My entire family of 8 went on a fabulous trip with Eugene to the Slieve League cliffs from Sligo with many great stops along the way.
Eugene was able to take us to so may unique places where we saw zero people and beautiful beaches,castles and farms.
Eugene is a pleasure to be around and a genuine great guy who is very down to earth. Kevin M
Best Day In Ireland Of Two Week Stay
We took four private tours during our stay in Ireland. Sligo Tours was simply the best. Eugene McPartland (the owner) gave me the gift of Ireland–through his words, his spirit, his understanding of my need for the natural beauty of Ireland and a necessity for solitude and thin places. He never rushed our group of four, letting us explore at our own pace. His knowledge of the area and his storytelling ability were exactly what I had hoped to find in Ireland. This area is free of tourists, making me hesitant to even write about it or share it. There were no crowds, no massive tour buses, no in-your-face souvenir shops. Mostly there was only peace, solitude and the magnificent natural beauty of Ireland. It’s not a place to visit if you want the usual attractions to take selfies. This is a quiet place–to pause and reflect. Here’s a list of some of the places Eugene shared with us: Tobernalt Holy Well, Rosses Point, Drumcliffe, Benbulben Mountains, Cassiebrawn Castle, Mullaghmore Peace Garden, Creevykeel, Colgagh Lough, Glencar Waterfalls, Parkes Castle, Creevelea Friary. Thank you again Eugene for my best day in Ireland. ScarboroughFair
Personalized and a Treasure!
We booked Eugene online, not knowing what to expect. There were not a lot of private tours to choose from, so we went with Sligo Tours! We booked through email, and were very nervous – knowing that the roads are narrow and difficult, we prayed that we got someone who knew how to drive. We also did not have any idea as to what we wanted to see. We left it with Eugene to select our stops. He brought us to many beautiful areas of Sligo and the base of the Benbulben mountain range. We could not have asked for anything better. Eugene was flexible on each stop in leaving us to decide how long we wanted to stay at each location. He is a wealth of knowledge and shared many historical and interesting details. We could not have asked for a better day!
Summer Fun In Sligo with Sligo Tours
I was a solo traveler in July 2019 visiting Sligo. Eugene of Sligo Tours is an excellent tour guide and driver. He drove me around Sligo Town and areas around Sligo County. He provided great commentary on the areas we visited such as Lough Gill, Strandhill, Hazelwood Forest, Parks Castle, The Holy Well, Poet Yates historic places, and much more. Eugene drove me around for two days. He took pictures for me of the places we visited. Now I have a wonderful collection of photographs of my trip. Eugene of Sligo Tours let me choose places I wanted to see. We stopped at sites and stayed as long as I wanted. Eugene lets the travelers like me set the travel agenda which is so great. He suggested places to go to and see that I would not have thought of. Everything was just perfect. I want to go back to Sligo again, And I am going to choose Sligo Tours as my travel guide. I highly recommend Sligo Tours to any traveler. For a safe, friendly, happy adventure it is Sligo Tours for me. Nomad12411909846
Eugene is a Sligo treasure all of his own!
I was recently in Sligo for the first time on a work trip and we were lucky enough to have Eugene show us around for the day. He was so knowledgeable, patient and friendly that the day felt more like a holiday than it did a work trip. As we went from location to location, Eugene educated my colleagues and I on the local area which was equal parts fascinating and fun.
Sligo is an absolutely beautiful place with an amazing history that is not to be missed and it’s my genuine feeling that the very best way to see it is in the company of Eugene. Highly, highly recommend.
Thanks for everything Eugene! Greg10